No more Toys R Us – all stores doomed to closure in next six weeks
Toys R Us is to shut all 100 of its UK stores after administrators failed to find a buyer for the collapsed retailer, resulting in the loss of 3,000 jobs.
Its branches at Meole Brace Retail Park in Shropshire and at St Andrews in Birmingham will be among the first to go, closing by the end of tomorrow.
They will be followed by shops at the Birchley Island in Oldbury, the Merry Hill Centre and at Stafford’s Queens Retail Park – opened only last year – over the next six weeks.
The toy chain appointed Moorfields Advisory to oversee an administration at the end of February.
But yesterday staff were told that no buyer has been found for Toys R Us and that all stores will close.
At the same time 67 staff at the firm's head offices were made redundant.
Moorfields said 25 stores set for closure under a failed rescue deal last year would close by the end of trading tomorrow.
The closure programme for the remaining stores is expected to take approximately six weeks to complete. Simon Thomas, joint administrator and partner at Moorfields, said: “We have made every effort to secure a buyer for all or part of the company’s business. This process attracted some interest, but ultimately no party has been able to move forward with a formal bid prior to the expiration of the stated deadline.
“It is therefore with great regret that we have made the difficult decision to make a number of positions redundant at the company’s head office in Maidenhead and proceed with a controlled store closure programme. We are grateful for the hard work of Toys R Us staff during this very difficult period and will be providing support where we can to those who have been made redundant.”
“All of the remaining 75 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores will remain open until further notice. We’re extending the nationwide discounting programme and would like to encourage customers to take advantage of the special offers available in store while stock levels remain high.”
Toys R Us is one of the nation’s biggest toy retailers, employing more than 3,000 across 100 stores in the UK.
Moorfields said at the time of the chain’s collapse that it is making “every effort” to secure a buyer for all or part of the business, but no suitor materialised in what is proving to be a dire time for high street retailers.
The retail sector has had a dismal start to 2018, with the collapse of Toys R Us and Maplin and a host of firms undergoing painful restructurings, including New Look and eateries run by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, as well as Byron and Prezzo.
High street chains across the board have been hit hard by falling consumer spending, soaring Brexit-fuelled inflation and competition from online rivals.